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little fluffy clouds...

  • Jun. 27th, 2005 at 11:36 AM
A friend of mine gave me 40 grams of 100% French angora yarn yesterday. It's so soft, I want to sleep in it, except it's not even enough to cushion one hand.

I've been considering going to Stitches East, on the invitation of another friend of mine. I'm leaning toward "that's way too much money to blow on a hobby." It might be do-able if we don't stay for the whole four-day event. I think I could afford two days, I talked to my husband, and he agrees.

Also, I've been saving for a spinning wheel, which costs several hundred, just got a new sewing machine and dress form this year, and I eventually want a serger. It gets to the point where you begin to wonder if your investment in the whole thing is worth it. I mean, I find the process itself satisfying, but maybe the spending needs to slow down. I need to work through my fabric and fiber stash a bit, to be sure.

My sewing room/craft room is finally in a usable condition (just after completion of the room, it suddenly became overrun with ants due to heavy rain). I have so many projects in limbo right now, I need to trim it down. Our computer has now been fixed and returned, so we only need to set up a desk at home now. I can finally post a picture or two!

I have agreed to sew for a friend. I have the tendency to let projects linger for a while, so this could be a bad thing... I just need to stay motivated.

Classy

  • Apr. 25th, 2005 at 3:51 PM
This weekend I took a sewing class at my local sewing machine shop. The outing began with two bleary-eyed ladies who were awake too early for a Saturday taking a wrong turn and ending up two towns away from the class, which was literally the next intersection away from our wrong turn.

The excursion climaxed with the instructor telling my my machine was hopelessly in need of repair and should be left at the shop for service, to which my skeptical classmate and I simultaneously raised an eyebrow and said "We'll see about that."

It culminated in an artery-clogging noontime breakfast at the local Bickford's while we watched the rain pour down.

All in all, the class was a pleasurable weekend activity, and I learned a bit about my fairly new machine. My only gripe about the class is that there is only a weekend class about once a month, the rest are weekday afternoons, and early evenings (I commute to work in another state, so that's out). Well, that and the teacher needlessly interjected religious references into mundane conversation, (i.e. "Lift the end of the thread up to GOD,") but that's not really a reflection on the quality of the class.

After I got home, I sat with my machine and a screwdriver for a while, and got it working to my satisfaction once again. Here are some useful links about tension, and fiddling with things on your machine that most people tell you should be left to a qualified repairperson:

http://www.sussexsewingmachines.com/tension.htm

http://www.bobvila.com/FixItClub/Subject/Appliances/Miscellaneous/FIG_SewingMachine.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_112544_repair-sewing-machine.html

http://www.thru-hiker.com/workshop.asp?subcat=11&cid=13

The next link contradicts the one immediately above, but I have heard that quilters prefer a looser bobbin tension, and purchased a used machine from a quilter that had extremely loose bobbin tension, so keep that in mind:
http://www.lequilters.com/Mainten_Tension.html

http://www.sewnews.com/library/sewnews/qa/aaqa0703a.htm

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/rec.crafts.textiles.sewing/browse_thread/thread/fa1425d300d52a8f/857209eaba751858?q=repair+sewing+machine&rnum=16#857209eaba751858

Last Friday I was revved up to sew something in anticipation of the class, but I discovered I inadvertently left my new pattern at work. I decided to make a very basic, fitted, sleeveless dress from a pattern in my stash. I worked on it on and off all weekend, and on Sunday I decided it needed the stability of at least a lining, if not underlining. So here I go again, making a simple project painstakingly complicated with a little change here and there to make the end result better, ad nauseam.

Lazy day

  • Apr. 21st, 2005 at 2:25 PM
I decided to go to work an hour late this morning so that I could buy some fabric. I walked down to WinMil Fabrics in downtown Boston, and picked up some cute calico to make shirts for work. I'm trying to add a little color to my work wardrobe, so I got some little teal flowers and scattered black dots on a white background, and a tiny vine and flower pattern that's just the outline in teal on a dark background.

I also got this pattern (it's New Look 6070):



Anyway, on the walk from the store to work, I somehow managed to spill coffee into my shopping bag! I have my clumsy moments, but this is a first for me. Maybe it's a sign that I should go back to wearing black all the time.

I went into the bathroom and wet down the spots on the white fabric, and the dark fabric only has a bit on the selvedge. I'm washing them the minute I get home, and hopefully they'll be O.K.

Tags:

Can't waste a whole workday

  • Apr. 6th, 2005 at 1:09 PM
So I'll save these links for when I fix my home computer.

A list of sewing books from a usenet FAQ with reviews.

Interesting theory on pattern cutting from a fashion designer.

Huge site with tons of info on costume history, theory, upcoming trends, tutorials, basically everything fashion related the author could think of. Maintained by a design teacher.

Links page from someone's personal site, with everything she could find about caring for, washing, and preserving textiles.

This site has entire texts of several sewing books.

Sewing lingerie:

Lingerie assembly information from a site that sells pattern-drafting software?

Bra making class from a personal site. Lots of links to related sites here, too.

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I just love my rings and chains.

  • Mar. 25th, 2005 at 2:52 PM
Psychology today article about packrats.

Sadly, I think I'm on my way there with fabric, yarn, and now unspun fiber. Sometimes I look at the rubbermaid bins full of fabric, and think to myself that if I put all my clothing into rubbermaid bins there would probably be fewer clothing bins than fabric bins.

Also, I have more sweaters in progress than in my sweater drawer (admittedly, I only have two pullovers; I'm not counting my cardigans because they are the lightweight type you use for layering).

I have more or less self-imposed a moratorium on buying fabric, yarn, or fiber since roughly the beginning of the year. It's not set in stone, it's more guilt-motivated. When I want to buy fabric I just think about all the stuff I haven't touched yet back at home.

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Sewing Motivation

  • Mar. 25th, 2005 at 1:41 PM
I didn't work on anything yesterday. Well, I knit a bit on the train, but I didn't sew anything.

Ran across this page on sewing and motivation, and thought I'd post it to peruse later: http://www.getcreativeshow.com/seminars/what_%20blocks_%20you.htm

Also, this one cribbed from someone else's LJ: http://www.timmelfabrics.com/wardrobe.htm

So, what can I do to keep moving along on my sewing? This journal is one of the things I'm trying. I've been thinking about having a regularly scheduled day to work on my sewing. I need to realize that looking up a technique in a book is okay, but it can quickly turn into procrastination.

Practice techniques on fabric scraps. I never do this. Then I end up ripping out huge pieces like I did day before yesterday.

This weekend I need to just force myself to finish that skirt. Completed projects tends to build motivation for me.

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Mar. 24th, 2005

  • 11:48 AM
Last night I got about 30 minutes of "sewing" done on a skirt, which mostly consisted of putting in a new zipper, not liking the result, ripping it out, and deciding I can't live with a mistake on the waistband (I previously decided to live with it because only I would notice). SO, I'm actually further from finishing than I was before I started last night.

Then after my zipper problems I went downstairs and dug out a book (from a room where everything is pushed to the side for work on the heating system) and I paged through that book and an issue of Threads on Chanel skirts, and considered revamping the waistband treatment.

That's why it takes me forever to sew something; my "sewing time" is spent with a seam ripper in one hand and a book in the other.

Patterns

  • Mar. 23rd, 2005 at 4:54 PM
List of topics on my mind that I want to cover in this journal:

  1. Why make your own clothes?
  2. Why do RTW clothes cost what they do?
  3. sweatshops
  4. haute couture
  5. the TV show(s) What Not To Wear
  6. fashion subcultures
  7. social cues from dress
  8. what I'm sewing
  9. color theory
  10. the diy trend and its previous incarnations
  11. what I know about different types of fibers
  12. reviews of the textile books I own
  13. hoarding (fabric, patterns, craft supplies, etc.)
  14. home sewing as a multi-million dollar industry

...and anything else I come up with later.